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Old 10-07-2006, 01:31 PM   #1
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Default [Chron] Shoes blamed for Yao's toe woes

Shoes blamed for Yao's toe woes
Van Gundy says Reebok has failed to solve problem

Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

AUSTIN With Yao Ming's sore left big toe keeping him off the court Friday, Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy pointed directly at the culprit he suspected of causing Yao's ongoing problems.

It's got to be the shoes.

"This is a reoccurring issue with Yao's feet, and he's not getting the shoe on time from Reebok," Van Gundy said. "He is not getting the shoe fitted properly so he doesn't have reoccurring issues with his toe and feet. Yao's got to be more demanding of this company. He's not getting the results he wants. It puts him at risk.

"It's the same issue here this year. Nothing's changed. It's problematic. Some things can't be prevented. This one I think can be with more attention to detail on the shoe he's getting from the company that really should care about him."

Yao, who along with the Philadelphia 76ers' Allen Iverson is one of Reebok's top athlete-endorsers, missed Friday's practice and will sit out today's workout with a bruised left big toe.

Rockets trainer Keith Jones said Yao could return to practice Monday.

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